Friday, February 27, 2015

"Ups and downs, Mr. Clennam."


  Everyone has those seasons in their life-- when things have lost their luster, inspiration is hard to come by, the days roll by in endless monotony, and nothing exciting seems to be on the horizon.

  Late winter can often be a very boring time for me. It's easy to get the blues when you're stuck inside your house practically 24/7 and the mercury is dropping right out of the bottom of the thermometer. Spring fever usually hits about now, and my mind is populated with dreams of flowers and birds singing in the trees and green meadows and sunny skies and dust-- oh, glorious dust! But I have to wait. And if I'm perfectly honest, I hate waiting.

Sometimes I totally feel like this.

  This year especially, the winter blues has hit me bad. And it's not only that; lately, I've been feeling my inspiration running low. That feeling of excitement that drives me. The passion to want to do awesome things, the motivation to get up at 5:30 in the morning and pour my emotions out into stories, the joy that keeps me smiling all day long. It's just...not there. I'm not sure where it went, because I had it just a little while ago. But lately-- yeah. I've just got the winter blues.

   Do you ever feel like your imagination is just running short of fuel? As though you've completely used up everything that's in there, or else lost it somewhere and you don't know quite where to find it again? That's a problem I've rarely, if ever, had to deal with. But I find myself feeling rather dry lately. Maybe it's the transitions that are going on in my life; maybe it's the weight of commitment in what I want to accomplish; maybe it's just that life is rarely what I want it to be. It's so easy to get discouraged, isn't it? You think of one thing that's wrong, pretty soon a hundred others follow, until it's just overwhelming. That's why it's so important not to fall into that trap.

  I'm trying to remember that there are always things to be grateful for. Yes, even in February! Even when I'm low on inspiration for my writing, even when my house is a mess, even when the bottom drops out of the thermometer. When I think about how God has blessed me, all the stupid little things that drag me down start to fade.

   So I guess this is one of my semi-frequent writer's block rants. ;-P Inspiration ebbs and flows; it'll come back. (Hopefully soon!) I need to not worry about it. So what if I haven't touched my novel in four days? I can come back to it, and I can write like crazy in the next four days. There's always tomorrow. But more importantly, there's today. I need to stop chasing after aching dreams of springtime and revel in the beauty of now. God made this cold, gray, stuffy day just like he made the warm sunshiney happy days of summer. I can't waste it just because I'm sick of snow and cold.

  And perhaps this is a time in my life when I should be paying attention and learning things, and not complaining and bemoaning what I don't have. News Flash: Sometimes it's good to give your writing a break. (Though it may feel like it's slowly killing you at the same time, which is what I've been experiencing!) I can go back to it with a renewed energy and motivation, new ideas and fresh inspiration. Just like Mr. Plornish says: "Ups and downs, Mr. Clennam. Ups and downs."

   Well, as the unsinkable Molly Brown says: "I ain't down yet."

    And I ain't.

    Even in the dead of winter there are rays of sunlight. Even in the darkest moments, ideas timidly push themselves into my head. And spring will come soon! I won't lose hope, because spring will come soon. My imagination is just....molting. That's it. This is a transition stage. It's hormones. I'll be okay. ;-)

    And so I will read good books and eat popcorn and write what I can and watch Brad Pitt movies good movies and continue to thank God for a life so sweet. Even in winter. :-)

"It will come sometime. Some beautiful morning she will just wake up and find it is Tomorrow. Not Today but Tomorrow. And then things will happen...wonderful things."  ~L.M. Montgomery


  1. I love you.

    You can do it, dear. Spring will come. It WILL come.

    And yes, God has made one day as well as the other - so it's what WE do that defines what makes a day good. You can make days good, Emma, even now it's still winter.

    Keep it up, dear. Get out of 'em blues. :-)

    Man, I love your heart-felt-on-the-spot writer rants.

    ~ Naomi

  2. That's so odd, I've been feeling this same way. February blues. Maybe I got them from you. *wink* But I'm really glad you wrote this post...I love the words, "But more importantly, there's today." Because there IS today, and the today, the now, the one-step-at-a-time is sometimes the furthest ahead one can look. God knows when you'll get a new rush of imagination, and He knows when I will too. And sometimes the slow, seemingly dreary days are the days where we can slow down our rush long enough to realize -- TRULY realize -- how great God is and how much He has blessed us. So I thank God for slow days too!

  3. I can completely relate to this. Usually I don't get the winter blues, but this year I think I have, so I am SO thrilled that spring draweth nigh;)

    Sometimes, one just feels...bleh. I've felt that way off and on the past couple days, but like you say, it'll pass. God will help us through it:)

    And as Annie says, "The sun'll come out tomorrow, so ya gotta hold on 'til tomorrow."

  4. Oooooh, Emma.....I COMPLETELY SYMPATHIZE WITH YOU. This is my first real snow and negative temperatures winter and I'm already yearning for spring (even though I love winter). Some days are gray, boring, monotonous, no-energy-for-anything-but-sitting-and-browsing-the-internet-or-watching-movies. I FEEL YOUR PAIN.
    But thankfully I have been able to rouse myself and TRY not to get into those moods-because even in winter there's so much I can get accomplished that I'd rather work on now than have to deal with in spring (example-organizing photos from over the last couple of years-yikes!!!)
    And yes, I have been there with the no inspiration for writing too. My current WIP was hardly touched for a month or two...or three...but I finally picked it up again recently and am more excited than ever! Especially since I feel that if I lost interest in my story but then found it again, it WILL be completed. Does that make sense?
    So, all that aside, I just wanted to tell you how much I can sympathize with you and to encourage you that better days will come! Even though it sure is tough sometimes...:P
    And haha, I literally JUST finished watching Little Dorrit a day or two ago and it made me smile to see your post title. :)
    And I loved all your pictures. The second was so true, the Eeyore one is adorable, and LES MIS!! Need I say more? ;) The two quotes at the end are so lovely.

  5. Oh, thank you girls. :-) Your comments are so encouraging! It's such a comfort to know I'm not alone in this. I'm so grateful for y'all. :-)

  6. That Eeyore comment is SO me!

    I can not wait until Spring! Hope you find inspiration soon!

  7. Good heavens, yes! All my creativity seems to dry up sometimes. I feel like my creativity is a reservoir, and if I draw on it a lot but don't replenish it, it gets low. Similarly, if I fill and fill and fill it, it'll come gushing out all over the place suddenly, words pouring out of me like a waterfall.

    So maybe yours is similar, and you need to replenish your well? Inhaling a book or some movies helps me a lot -- just sort of gorging myself by reading a whole book in a few days or staying up late to watch a whole movie in one night instead of two. Sometimes I need to fill and fill and fill, especially in winter and summer. Something about the static weather -- always cold or always hot -- saps my creativity. But spring and fall, with all the change going on outside, are very creative times for me.

    So I hope you can beat those winter blues and refill your reservoir if that's what it needs :-) And if it is, don't begrudge yourself those movies and TV shows and books -- soak them up so your words can pour forth when they're ready!

  8. Just the inspiration I needed for today! Thank you. :)


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